Background: Tumor-related spinal surgery has been revolutionized by recent advances in spinal stabilization, modern neuroimaging, and perioperative intensive medicine. This study examines clinical outcomes and factors associated with complications following reconstruction of complex oncologic defects of the spine and sacrum, in an attempt to increase preoperative recognition of high-risk patients with diminished wound-healing capacity and to optimize clinical outcomes in this cohort.
Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of fifty-five consecutive patients who underwent soft-tissue reconstruction with or without osseous stabilization of defects following spinal or sacral tumor resection at a quaternary referral center over a twelve-year period. Surgical outcomes included the prevalence of postoperative complications and success of wound closure at the latest follow-up. Health-related quality-of-life outcomes were assessed using the EORTC QLQ-C30 (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer 30-Item Core Quality of Life Questionnaire) and SF-36 (Short Form-36) questionnaires.
Results: The mean age of the cohort was 46.7 years (range, eighteen to seventy-one years), with a male preponderance (3:1). Soft-tissue reconstructions (n = 70 flaps) were performed in the fifty-five patients. Overall, 36.3% of patients had wound complications. There was a twofold higher wound complication rate after delayed (60%) compared with immediate (29%) reconstruction (p = 0.03). Patients undergoing delayed reconstruction reported significantly lower SF-36 and EORTC QLQ-C30 scores.
Conclusions: Orthoplastic management of spinal tumors should involve a strategy for preoperative recognition of patients at risk of compromised wound-healing. Prophylactic soft-tissue reconstruction can achieve stable definitive wound closure and potentially avoid the need for secondary procedures in appropriately selected patients.
Level of Evidence: Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Investigation performed at the Departments of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery, Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford, United Kingdom
Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.
- Copyright © 2016 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
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